Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and federal Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel announced a major project to celebrate Montreal's 375th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of Confederation: lighting up the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
The project to illuminate the Jacques Cartier Bridge is called Living Connections. A statement from the city's 375th anniversary committee calls it "a unique interactive lighting concept activated in real time by the seasons and the energy of the city."
"It's going to be a gift from Canada to Montreal, and it's going to be — I can bet you anything — people taking pictures millions of times because the bridge will change colour every day," said Gilbert Rozon, Commissioner of the Society for the Celebration of Montréal's 375th Anniversary.
"We want to make sure it's like a masterpiece...It has to be beautiful every day," he told CBC Radio One's Homerun.
The $39.5-million project includes installing square lights on the 2.5-kilometre structure, which links the island of Montreal to the South Shore.
The project would be an interactive light show conceptualized by six multimedia and lighting studios and Moment Factory — a Montreal multimedia company that has done light shows for artists including Bon Jovi, Céline Dion and Madonna during her 2012 Super Bowl half-time show.
"They came with this simple project, which is amazing: it follows the seasons. So let's say it's blue during winter, but 91 shades of blue. So when it's really cold it turns crystal blue, and then it turns to green for spring, yellow in summer...and in the middle of the fall it will be red. It's tied to the change of season," Rozon said.
The 365 shades of colour can also be programmed to reflect activities or events going on in the city, he said.
"If the Canadiens were to win the Stanley Cup, we could change the colour of the bridge...If there 's a huge festival, or the fireworks, or something amazing going on, the bridge from the outside will vibrate, so you will feel the activity."
The illumination project is slated to last at least 10 years, Rozon said.
The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated will contribute $30 million, while the city of Montreal will foot the bill for $9.5 million.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said that in spite of the price tag, the project is a good investment for the city that will boost tourism.
"You can go on Twitter, you can have some trolls saying, 'Oh, that's bad,'...but the reality here is that we are showing that Montreal is a great metropolis and that the government of Canada is delivering the merchandise."